Internet giants threaten to pull out of Hong Kong over privacy plans

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An association of companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook is warning the internet giants and their will pull out of Hong Kong.

The companies warned their will be pulled out if a planned tightening of data protection was implemented.

The Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) criticised the proposed doxxing legislation as too vague and disproportionate, according a letter Hong Kong’s data protection commissioner, Ada Chung Lai-ling, posted on the AIC website on .

The privacy was proposed after the personal information of police officers, and figures including the names, addresses, photographs of individuals were circulated online during the unrest of 2019 and 2020.

The publishing of such private information without permission is what is known as doxxing.

AIC said was “unnecessary and excessive’’ prosecute local employees as intended if their overseas-based companies did not remove content from their platforms as required by authorities.

“The only way avoid these sanctions for companies would be refrain from investing and offering their in Hong Kong, thereby depriving Hong Kong businesses and consumers, whilst also creating new barriers trade,’’ the letter said.

The industry association shared the serious concern about “doxxing’’ but stressed laws against must be built upon principles of necessity and proportionality.